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Coachella 2013: Daytime parties give way to night

April 13, 2013|By Jessica Gelt
  • H&M sponsors one of Coachella's daytime parties at the Merv Griffin estate, featuring a poolside performance by Santigold.
H&M sponsors one of Coachella's daytime parties at the Merv Griffin… (Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles…)

First-world problems were evident Saturday afternoon at Coachella as a spate of daytime parties erupted in the desert sunshine like so many alcohol-soaked fireworks.

The H&M party took off at 1 p.m. when the young and beautiful converged on the Merv Griffin estate to catch a spirited performance by Santigold. Dressed in a green mesh bathing suit with two dancers who resembled the troops from an alterna-universe Emerald City, the brash singer strutted on the poolside stage, belting out her electronic hits.

Tiny hot dogs, greasy sliders and watermelon laced with jasmine on bamboo skewers were circulated by subservient pool boys in light cotton clothing. Guests paddled in a murky lagoon on H&M branded paddle boats as the sun began its slow descent into the horizon. In the distance was the Empire Polo Club, where come nightfall the masses would gather for musical communion.

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Just down the road at the Lacoste Live party, radio station 98.7 hosted a small stage off a hopping pool scene. Phoenix, Vampire Weekend and L.A.'s own Airborne Toxic Event performed and gave interviews before being spirited away to well-appointed gifting suites.

Ping-pong, badminton and croquet games played out against a breezy desert backdrop that could have been in Dubai for all the excess it evoked. Or maybe even West Hollywood. "What an environment!" enthused Santigold, gazing over the pool party. "This is the place to be." And on Saturday afternoon, she was right.

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